The Beatles Before Crossing Abbey Road

That’s it. Really. I saw this cool photo and wanted to share it. Nothing more, nothing less. Just a wonderful point in music history.

The Beatles Before Crossing Abbey Road

It’s a moment like this that you realize these legends were just normal guys. Waiting for their historic photo op across Abbey Road in St John’s Wood, they look nervous, excited, frazzled (or whatever you perceive). To me, they simply look human.

See Also:
The Crossing at Abbey Road

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29 Responses to “The Beatles Before Crossing Abbey Road”

  1. Melissa
    01/23/11 at 4:22 am #

    I don’t normally comment on anything, but I just wanted to say that this is officially my favorite pictures of the Beatles. Ever. Thank you for posting this :)

  2. Mike
    02/02/11 at 10:38 pm #

    Great photo. Also cool to see that Paul is wearing sandals, which at least to me suggests some degree of premeditation. .

  3. Will
    02/05/11 at 10:29 am #

    Melissa’s favorite picture of the Beatles?!? I guess she doesn’t like George at all (my favorite Beatle).

  4. Matthew
    02/09/11 at 4:16 am #

    They obviously airbrushed the fifth Beatle in the purple housecoat out of the final shot!

  5. Laurence
    02/10/11 at 5:20 am #

    Great to see this. I live just down the road – they are actually standing on the side of the road that they walk towards in the cover shot, meaning that I guess the photographer took loads of shots of them going backwards and forwards – thus this could be ‘The Beatles after crossing Abbey Road’ or ‘The Beatles before going across Abbey Road to come back again’! Hope that helps..

  6. Spencer
    02/20/11 at 3:04 pm #

    Anyone notice anything weird? The Beatles are definitely on the right side of the road in this picture, and would cross right to left. Their shadows also support this idea. However in the album photo, their shadows are definitely cast down the street and they are crossing left to right. They must have crossed and then crossed back. I think this picture should be titled, “The Beatles Before Crossing Abbey Road for the First Time.”

  7. Farva
    03/02/11 at 1:34 pm #

    I Like John Lennon because he is underground

  8. Melinda
    03/04/11 at 12:51 am #

    or maybe they did a lot of takes, and didn’t pick this take

  9. Brian
    03/12/11 at 2:14 am #

    That does seem to be “after” crossing, or are taking more photos (waiting for cars perhaps?). That brick wall/fence is on the right of the album (the other fence is higher with what looks like metal bars on top).

    Whats even stranger is that Paul isn’t wearing ANY shoes on Abbey Road, he’s barefoot on the album….
    (btw i have the lp in my lap! ^.^*)

  10. ohhhh herrooooo
    04/04/11 at 9:23 pm #

    mcartney is wearing sandals in this picture, in the Abbey Road picture he has no shoes on. possibly a fake??

  11. Stephen Bailey
    04/05/11 at 1:27 pm #

    To everyone who says it’s a fake because Paul is wearing sandals here and not in the album photo … are you freakin’ kidding me? Photo shoots can take a long time and would you want to stand barefoot on any city street for hours at a time. Please!

  12. 'Uncle' Pete Perry
    04/05/11 at 2:54 pm #

    Absolutely A wonderful popint in music histroy Ches, – THANKS!!!

  13. stephen
    04/05/11 at 4:49 pm #

    or maybe paul just put sandals on between takes because he doesn’t like standing barefoot on public sidewalks for extended periods of time…

  14. Joel
    04/25/11 at 8:45 am #

    This is DEFINITELY a pre-walking shot. Notice they are standing in ORDER. They must of had the photo shot from many different angles and this was right before one of the inadequate ones.

  15. Amanda
    06/12/11 at 11:51 pm #

    Poster: How do you get “nervous” “excitement” and “frazzled?” Lol. Remember Abbey Road was their last album, and they pretty much all hated each other by then…to me it looks more like they want to get it over with. . .(Which is more likely, considering the history of Abbey Road and their lives as a group at this point in time.) Remember, they’ve already been BEYOND huge and famous and life changing at this point in their career….they’ve got nothing to be ‘nervous’ about.
    Also, really? People who can’t understand how Paul is barefoot on the cover but not here? Have you no idea how easy it is to….kick off a pair of flip flops before a photo…..??? Think first, type second ;) ;)

  16. JimLane
    06/13/11 at 11:46 pm #

    Nitpick. Nitpick.

    Just enjoy the photo!

  17. Stephen Bailey
    06/18/11 at 5:10 pm #

    Thanks @JimLane. My thoughts exactly :0)

  18. Stephen Bailey
    06/18/11 at 5:24 pm #

    @Amanda … You missed the part where I said “or whatever you perceive” … This is how I like to see them. You can interpret this photo in any way you wish. Although I have to say, having dealt with famous people, many never fully get over being nervous or excited when doing new things. Besides, have you ever tried to cross Abbey Rd at that spot? You take your life in your hands. Check out the link I posted above to The Crossing at Abbey Road. And as far as, “they pretty much all hated each other by then”… I’m really not seeing that here. Although I guess that’s why Paul is helping to adjust Ringo’s collar … you know … to piss him off.

  19. Jeremiah
    07/04/11 at 10:47 am #

    That’s the other side of the road. They’ve already crossed.

  20. Mrs Gail J Gray
    07/04/11 at 7:32 pm #

    I like some of The Beatles music but i am not a Beatles fan, i prefer The Everly Brothers, Frank Ifield and Rock and Roll.

  21. Troy Gates
    07/06/11 at 10:48 pm #

    Thanks for this photo. It could have been taken before the ‘actual’ photo as the photographer may have wanted to see the shot from the perspective we see and from the ‘right to left’ perspective as well but chose ‘left to right’ in the end. It is amazing to see how many discussions have been had, and how many mock photos have been done in honour of the original Abbey Road picture over time.

  22. Zsolt
    09/03/11 at 5:42 am #

    The final photo shows them passing from left to right, and in the opposite order than they are lined up on this photo. Hence, this photo must had been taken at one of the alternative shootings, those that never became final.

    Another solution to this mystery might be simply that the negative had been flipped. If you mirror this image, then it would be exactly right (right order, right side of the road, too).

  23. Zsolt
    09/03/11 at 5:46 am #

    YES, adding to my previous post: I just flipped the photo horizontally and suddenly everything makes sense. The side of the road, the order, the shadow, everything.

    This was/is a common problem with analogue photography: people often accidentally flip the film under the projector and end up with a mirror image.

  24. tommyboy
    01/14/12 at 1:54 pm #

    Thank you so much for sharing this photo. What a treat! I love the casual feel of the photo and how you can see their personalities in the way they are standing and interacting. I am a long time Beatles fan. I saw them perform their last public appearance at Candlestick Park stadium in San Francisco, California in 1966. This photo brought a real smile to my face and brightened my day.

  25. Richard
    01/31/12 at 2:02 pm #

    More from the Abbey Road photo op.
    (including this one)

  26. Stephen Bailey
    02/11/12 at 8:15 pm #

    @Richard Thanks for the link. What an amazing collection.

  27. Simon
    02/15/12 at 5:30 am #

    Had to comment to connect with this history,

    This is as good as the actual finished product

  28. Jim
    04/16/12 at 8:06 pm #

    Where is Yoko Ono?

  29. Peter
    08/24/12 at 10:16 pm #

    A friend of mine here in Tasmania is over the moon that you have a photo of her Auntie Molly who
    lived around the corner. She only has an old press clipping that I think is slightly different.
    Think she may make postcards from it and send to her relatives .Good times !

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